Rail construction along Dillingham will snarl traffic, but the plan, and how long it will take, is still up-in-the-air

Local News

It’s one of the most complicated areas along the rail route — the stretch down Dillingham Boulevard. HART is considering an “accelerated” schedule for the work, but it would put a huge strain on the community.

Glenn Nohara, HART Project Oversight Committee chair Glenn Nohara said they haven’t decided exactly how they will move forward with rail construction along Dillingham.

“It’s tough even as a construction person myself, its like the worst project I’ve ever been associated with,” said Nohara. “There’s a lot of utilities in the existing traffic lanes. We have a series of drain pipes. We have a box culvert. We have sewer lines. We have gas lines. We have two to three waterlines, one is a point transmission main, that’s all under Dillingham. The issue is if we have to relocate the electrical lines on Dillingham—the Hawaiian Electric lines. That’s what we’re going through right now.

A great deal of coordination is needed between the agencies to make all that happen and there is a great deal of discussion on how deep they need to dig to remedy the problem.

So far there are two preliminary plans.

The preferred plan, has an accelerated timeline. Nohara said it will cost more.

KHON: “Because [the plan] hasn’t been decided on, is that going to increase the cost of this project? Is that going to delay things even further?”

“That’s what I was asking Andy [Robbins]. What’s the cost analysis for both options,” Nohara said.

The upside of the accelerated plan–construction on utilities and columns could be built in 15 to 18 months.

At this point, there is no talk about completely shutting Dillingham down. But Nohara said it would be a very big impact.

“It’s not a little bit, it’s a big impact. There’s going to be an impact because we’re putting in a lot of work. Not just 200 feet or 300 feet. We’re talking maybe a couple thousand feet. It’s not an easy decision. There’s a lot of work that needs to go into Dillingham and we have to weigh all of these factors. How do we impact businesses? How do we impact public?” explained Nohara.

He said if they do go with the alternative plan, it could take two to three times longer.

“It’s difficult. We need the public’s input. We got to get through this together. We got to get this thing built.”

A community meeting to get feedback will be scheduled by HART soon.

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